I'm not sure what the producers of MSNBC's UP with Steve Kornacki felt that Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform's Mattie Duppler was going to add to the debate on this Sunday's show, but after watching her on there, apparently it was to keep the rest of the guests busy debunking the endless string of lies she told during her time on the panel.
During a discussion ranging from what percentage of GDP is needs to be taxed, to the size and scope of government, to whether Americans even know what the federal government spends money on, or how many people realize that President Obama has lowered their taxes, the conversation got a bit contentious when Duppler trotted out the old "because of Obama, government spending is out of control" canard.
After the Center for American Progress' Neera Tanden made the point that the central thesis of Republicans' economic strategy has been tax cuts, and that it has been proven that tax cuts don't produce economic growth, here's Duppler's response.
DUPPLER: That's not the central thesis of the Republican party. It is one of the tenets of the Republican party. (crosstalk) But you also have explosive government growth. You've got government spending that's out of control and that...
JOHNSTON: It's not out of control. […] The government is rapidly shrinking under Obama.
DUPPLER: After he exploded it. After he increased spending by eighty-four percent. I mean, seriously, this is laughable that you're telling me that are just (crosstalk).
JOHNSTON: This would put us into a depression. You want to put us into a depression. (crosstalk).
NADLER: This is the central lie...
DUPPLER: I'm challenging your assertion that the deficit and the size of government is shrinking after Obama and congressional Democrats took spending and the size of government to all time highs.
NADLER: This is the central lie... this is the central lie of our political debate right now... what you just said.
NADLER: The fact is, what happened to our deficit is, after it was cut... after it went up because of the Bush tax cuts and the wars and everything, since Obama took office, remember, the CBO before Obama took office said the 2009 deficit was going to be $1.4 trillion and it was. Why? And it was hugely increased. Why? Because when you get a recession, you get a depression such as we were in, two things happen.
One, revenues plummet, taxes plummet. People aren't working. They don't pay taxes, number one. And so taxes plummeted. And number two, automatic spending on unemployment insurance and on food stamps goes up because more people don't have money to eat with...
JOHNSTON: And Jerry, if you don't have part two, that you did, that's when you get the great depression.
After Duppler continued to insist that from a "small government perspective" government spending is still too high, David Cay Johnston reminded her of just what that philosophy is going to cost us.
JOHNSTON: We are going to be poorer in the future because we are cutting spending on basic research. The cell phones that we all have have grown from government spending in the past. The jet airplanes we fly come from government spending, the computers we use, the math in them, all come from government spending. [...] We need to be spending money on government research, development and education and Republicans want to cut all that.
After Duppler said she wanted to know how we were supposed to fund these things, Tanden pointed out the obvious... paying taxes. Duppler pretended that cutting taxes was not "the central tenet" of the Republican party, but thanks to her group, that's exactly what it's been.
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